Football Blog

2017: Powell Leads Raptors to Playoff Win

Rick : April 25, 2017 8:23 am : Football

Norman Powell has earned a spot in the Toronto Raptors’ rotation and is making his bones on  basketball’s biggest stage.

Powell dunks on Milwaukee Bucks.

The 6-foot, 4-inch guard from Lincoln High scored a career-high 25 points in 34 minutes and shot 8 for 11 from the field to lead the Raptors to a 118-93 win over Milwaukee and put Toronto into a 3-2 playoff series lead over the Milwaukee Bucks last night.

After a superstar career at Lincoln, it took Powell until his senior season before he averaged 16.4 points a game, starred on defense, and blossomed into an all-conference player at UCLA.

Powell’s professional career so far has been similar to his development at UCLA.  Drafted by the Milwaukee Bucks with the 46th pick in the second round of the 2015 NBA draft, Powell soon was traded to Toronto.

He got into 46 games as a rookie but appeared in 76 games in 2016-17, started 18, and averaged 8.4 points and 18 minutes.



2017: Charles Sanford, Anchor of Cavers’ Great Relay Squad

Rick : April 2, 2017 9:37 am : Football

Charles Sanford finished the perfect race.

Etched in my memory: Edwards Stadium, Berkeley, 1963 state track meet, final event, 880-yard relay. San Diego High against the field at the end of the two-day program.

Sanford and teammates Walter (Buddah) Blackledge, Gordon Baker, and Raymond Dixon, were considered one of the better entries coming into the meet with a best time of 1:27.2, but there were other, more favored teams  from the Los Angeles City and Southern sections.

Sanford, who passed away at age 72 recently, was an attacking sprinter, grinding out his races with each stride, and the best at San Diego High since the days of Roscoe Cook and Bobby Staten a decade before.

Sanford had set a San Diego Section record of :09.6 in the 100-yard dash the week before and had a best of :19.2 in the 180-yard low hurdles.

He qualified in neither event in the Friday trials  but was fresh and ready for the baton chase the next day.

The Cavers got off to a good start when Blackledge came out of the blocks with a :22-flat first 220, handing off to Gordon Baker, who put some distance between himself and the pack with a :21.3 second leg.

Gordon Baker, Charles Sanford, Walter (Buddah) Blackledge, and Raymond Dixon (from left) reached perfection in 1963.

Baker a sometimes erratic sprinter-quartermiler, ran  the most important leg, because he was able to make the second pass from the pole position to Dixon.

With the posse in hot pursuit, Dixon held the inside lane, running his furlong in :21.7, and maintaining  Baker’s lead as Dixon passed to  Sanford.

Anchor man Sanford closed with a :21.3 leg, increasing San Diego’s winning advantage  to about five yards.

The Cavers had covered the distance in 1:26.3, second fastest in the country that year; almost one second faster than they had run the week before,  and bettered the record they had shared with the 1957 Cook-Staten-Charles Davis-Willie Jordan team.

Los Angeles Manual Arts was second in 1:26.8.

What I remember most were the flawless handoffs as the Cavers protected the baton amid the pressure of  flying spikes, and streaking bodies in a high-powered race.

Sanford, who also was a football standout at San Diego, will be honored in a funeral service Monday, April 3, at 11 a.m. at Missionary Baptist Church in Logan Heights.





2016-17 State Championship: Singer has seen all of Helix’ Best

Rick : March 22, 2017 2:35 pm : Football

John Singer has seen the greatest Helix teams from the bench.

He was an underclassman reserve on the 1969-70 squad led by Bill Walton that posted a 33-0 record and is regarded  as not only the best team to come out of the La Mesa foothills but the all-time No. 1 in San Diego County.

Singer’s also the coach, and the winner of 679 games in 36 seasons at Helix, of this season’s team, which will play Vallejo St. Patrick-St. Vincent Saturday at 1 p.m. in the CIF state Division IV championship game at Sacramento’s Golden Center.

The Highlanders’ Scotty.

Helix is 31-5, and winner of 22 in a row.  It got to this point by prevailing in four successive games at home during the Southern California regional after earning a No. 2 seed following a championship run through the San Diego Section playoffs.

Walton competed  before San Diego Section teams were part of Southern California regional or state playoffs.

But that Helix team averaged 88 points a game, exceeded 100 points six times, and scored a 71-49 victory over Long Beach Millikan, the 1969-70 Southern Section champion, in  a December tournament in Covina.

Singer’s club outscored opponents by an average of 60-55 in a 9-5 December, but has not lost since Dec. 30 and are winning by an average score of 71-53 during that time.

The Scots were almost as effective against competition from outside San Diego, building an average advantage of 70-57 in the four regional games.

Vallejo St. Francis-St. Patrick of the North Coast Section is 27-7, won the Northern California regional, and outscored 4 opponents by an average of 82-43.

Helix and St. Patrick each is a bubble team in Cal-Hi Sports’ latest top state top 20, but the Bruins are ranked 37th in California by Max Preps and Helix is 69th.

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1942-43: It’s All About Victory

Rick : March 17, 2017 9:46 am : Football

Galvanized Americans had Victory on their minds as the war moved into its second year.

San Diego school officials, living in the hub of the defense industry, pitched in.  They created the Victory League and put the Metropolitan League in a basketball drydock.

Call theirs a New Year’s Resolution.

Coronado coach Hal Niedermeyer had announced a Metro schedule of one round of nine games on December 10.

But on Jan. 12, when play got under way, the circuit had a new name, a positive acknowledgement of Uncle Sam’s rallying cry for Victory in Europe and Japan.

The Metro, born in 1933 and inclusive of the city’s and suburbs’ smaller schools, would not return until after the 1945-46 academic year.


Low fuel tanks and balding tires were by-products of the need for precious wartime materials.

Jim Glasson was one of key players for San Diego coach Merrill Douglas’ squad.

Necessary gas rationing and travel restrictions were such that the league did not include all members who competed in the similar Metropolitan loop during football season.

Victory travel would be by streetcar or bus.

Suburban Sweetwater and rural Escondido and Oceanside were forced to bail.

Night games were at the option of host schools.

As they did in football for the 1942 season, local titans San Diego High and Hoover split their squads.  Four teams included the San Diego Blues and Whites and the Hoover Reds and Whites.


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2016-17 Regionals:  Helix and Serra Reach Finals

Rick : March 15, 2017 6:07 pm : Football

The Helix boys and Serra girls are still in the hunt.

Both teams have reached the finals of the Southern California Regional playoffs, last step before the state championships March 24-25 at the Golden Center in Sacramento.

Helix (30-5), the No. 2 seed in Division IV, defeated Carson of the L.A. City Section, 56-53, for its 21st consecutive victory, 15th in a row at home, and now will play its fourth straight game as host, Saturday night at 6.

The Highlanders will take on Reedley Immanuel (23-8), with the winner meeting the Northern California champion, either Salinas Palma or Vallejo St. Patrick-St. Vincent, which also play Saturday evening.

D-III six seed Serra (23-10) qualified to meet 1 seed Anaheim Rosary (28-5) after a 57-51 win over No. 2 Camarillo.


St. Augustine strived mightily against the taller and favored hosts from Santa Ana Mater Dei, but the Saints were only 6 for 22 in three-point attempts and committed 22 turnovers in a 63-57 loss.

Taeshon Cherry scored 25 points and had 11 rebounds for the San Diego club and was the best player on the floor.

The Saints should be back knocking on the door again in 2017-18.

Fourteen D-III seed Orange Glen’s unexpected ride came to an end when the Patriots were outscored, 17-7, in overtime and dropped a 72-62 decision at No. 2-ranked Villa Park.

Mission Hills was a 66-57 loser at Long Beach Poly and The Bishop’s, after a 315-mile ride, over the Grapevine and up Highway 99, were run off the floor by Clovis West, 73-31, in Girls’ Open Division contests.

Rancho Bernardo was a 57-49 loser to Rancho Cucamonga Los Osos in D-IV, and Olympian was ousted, 70-53, by Riverside Notre Dame in D-V.


With Cal-Hi Sports’ last rankings to be made after the state finals. San Diego’s representation could change.

St. Augustine had moved from seventh to fourth before the Mater Dei game and Torrey Pines was 15th in boys’ play.

Mission Hills was fourth in the girls’ rankings and The Bishop’s had jumped from unranked to 12th after upsetting Studio City Harvard-Westlake, 63-60, in the quarterfinals.


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2016-17: And Then There Were 8

Rick : March 12, 2017 2:22 pm : Football

The  Southern California regional of the state playoffs reached the semifinal round after San Diego Section teams qualified eight of the 17 teams it sent to the weekend quarterfinals.

All local boys and girls teams except Helix will be on the road Tuesday night.  The Highlanders (29-5), seeded No. 2 in Boys’ Division IV, play host to 3 seed Carson (23-6)  of the Los Angeles City Section.

Beginning with Open Division  6 seed St. Augustine (28-4), a scrappy, 88-81 winner over nationally regarded and Southern California third-ranked Chatsworth Sierra Canyon, all section teams except Helix will be in against favored clubs.

The Saints will try for the third time at No. 2 Santa Ana Mater Dei (32-2), having lost to the Monarchs, 86-62, in the Diablo Inferno at Mission Viejo on Dec. 3 and 74-62 at the Nike Extravaganza Feb. 4 at Mater Dei.

If there is a potential Cinderella, the D-IV Orange Glen Patriots are the top candidate at this juncture.

The 14 seed from east Escondido visits No. 2 Villa Park.  The Patriots are the South’s ranked squad still alive in  boys or girls.

The lowest overall  seed in the state still playing is Santa Rosa Cardinal Newman, a No. 15 in the Northern California D-II regional.  Eastlake, a 12 seed in D-V, visits No. 1 Riverside Notre Dame.

Helix, should it defeat Carson, would take on the winner of No. 1 Burbank (25-9)  and No. 5 Reedley Immanuel (22-8) on Saturday, March 18, at 6 p.m. If Burbank wins, the Bulldogs would host.  If Immanuel wins, Helix would host.


The Bishop’s (30-3), seeded fifth in the Open, will make the South regional’s longest trip, 368 miles, to face No. 1-ranked Clovis East (31-2).

Mission Hills (31-2), seeded  third in the Open, revisits 2 seed Long Beach Poly, which sent the Grizzlies home with a 58-41 loss in the first round of the 2015 regional.

The four Girls’ opponents are ranked 2, 1, 2, and 1.  One of those top-ranked squads is Camarillo, which represents a 175-mile trip for No. 6 Serra.


Division Team Opponent
Open 6 St. Augustine (28-4) @2 Santa Ana Mater Dei (32-2)
III 14 Orange Glen (23-9) @2 Villa Park, 25-6
IV 2 Helix (29-5) 3 Carson (23-6)


Division Team Opponent
Open 3 Mission Hills (30-2) @ 2 Long Beach Poly (25-3)
5 The Bishop’s (30-3) @1 Clovis West (31-2)
III 6 Serra (22-10) @2 Camarillo (30-3)
IV 4 Rancho Bernardo (23-6) @1 Rancho  Cucamonga Los Osos (25-3)


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2016-17 Regionals: Seventeen Remain in Play

Rick : March 10, 2017 6:51 am : Football

With Open Division play beginning with quarterfinals tonight, seventeen of 31 San Diego Section teams remain in the Southern California regionals of the state playoffs.

Boys teams won seven of Wednesday’s 13, opening-round games, were 6-1 in road games and 3-3 at home.  

Four lower seeds, Vista, Orange Glen, Olympian, and Mission Hills won and three higher seeds, Foothills Christian, Mater Dei, and La Costa Canyon lost.

Girls teams won 6 of 14, opening-round games Wednesday, were 6-1 at home, and 0-7 on the road.   Favored Poway was beaten by Huntington Beach, 52-43, in the only upset.

Biggest surprises so far were No 11 seed Vista’s remarkable, double-overtime, 97-94 win at No. 6 Rancho Santa Margarita and, just a few miles South, No. 13 Orange Glen’s 66-65, overtime victory at No. 4 Capistrano Valley.

Going into tonight’s four Open Division contests, San Diego Section clubs are 13-14 overall, 9-4 at home, and 6-8 on the road.

San Diego teams will be visitors in 11 of the 16 quarterfinals games.


Open 6 St. Augustine (27-4) @3 Chatsworth Sierra Canyon (27-4)
8 Torrey Pines (28-4) @1 Torrance Bishop Montgomery (27-2)


Div. Team Opponent
I 11 Vista (29-3) @3 Woodland Hills Taft (26-10)
II 12 Mission Hills (22-8) 13 Pasadena (25-6)
III 8 Santa Fe Christian (21-10) @1 Ontario Colony (28-5)
13 Orange Glen (22-9) @6 Selma (30-4)
IV 2 Helix (28-5) 7 Torrance West  (23-8)
V 4 Brawley (27-7) 13  Olympian (29-3)



Open 3 Mission Hills (29-2) 6 Rancho Cucamonga Etiwanda (26-2)
5 The Bishop’s (29-3) @4 Studio City Harvard-Westlake (25-4)


Div. Team Opponent
I 8 La Jolla Country Day (18-11) @1 L.A. Windward (26-4)
III 6 Serra (21-10) @3 L.A. Marlboro (22-8)
7 Mater Dei (22-11) @2  Camarillo (29-4)
IV 4 Rancho Bernardo (26-6) 5 Cerritos Valley Christian (22-9)
6 Scripps Ranch (27-5) @3 Sun Valley Village Christian (29-3)
V 7 Escondido Adventist (23-3) @2 Irvine Crean (19-11)



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2016-17 Regionals: Saints, Torrey Get Rugged First Tests

Rick : March 6, 2017 2:49 pm : Football

Thirty-one teams from the San Diego Section begin play Wednesday and Friday nights in the Southern California regional  playoffs.

Regional winners will qualify for the state championships against Northern California winners.

The CIF state committee which created the seedings and brackets based on the power ratings model didn’t think highly of the San Diego Section’s 15 boys’ teams chances or those of the 16 girls’ squads.

Helix, seeded second in Boys’ D-IV, is the highest ranked boys club.  Brawley, a 4 seed in D-V, is the only other male team with a seeding higher than 6.

Helix (28-5) gets a Wednesday night home game against No. 15 Granada Hills (14-16), better known as the alma mater of Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback John Elway.

Brawley, Foothills Christian, Mater Dei, and Santa Fe Christian are the only others with home games.

St. Augustine and Torrey Pines, San Diego Section Open Division finalists, were placed in the eight-team regional Open, which begins play Friday night.

Helix, on an 18-game winning streak and having played a decidedly easier, mostly local schedule, was given a lower division slot and a presumed stronger prospect of advancing to the to the state final.

St. Augustine and Torrey Pines played stronger intersectional schedules and were “rewarded” with first-round road games against loaded, nationally ranked Southern Section teams Chatsworth Sierra Canyon  and Torrance Bishop Montgomery, respectively.


Nine teams earned seeds that will give them home games, beginning Wednesday night.

Mission Hills (29-2) is No. 3 in the Open Division and plays host on Friday to a dangerous 6 seed, 28-2 Rancho Cucamonga Etiwanda.

Rancho Bernardo (4), The Bishop’s (5), Serra (6), Scripps Ranch (6), Mater Dei (7), and Escondido Adventist (7) all will act as hosts.

The biggest underdog of all 31 teams appears to be the Guajome Park Frogs, who have a 19-9 record but are seeded 16th in boys’ D-V and will travel to No. 1 seed Riverside Notre Dame.


1–St. Augustine, 2–Torrey Pines, 3–Foothills Christian, 4–Helix, 5–Vista, 6—Mater Dei, 7—Mission Hills, 8—Santa Fe Christian, 9—La Jolla Country Day, 10—Canyon Crest.


OPEN 6 St. Augustine 27-4 @Chatsworth Sierra Canyon 3 27-2
8 Torrey Pines 28-4 @Torrance Bishop Montgomery 1 27-2
1 7 Foothills Christian 24-6 Oak Park 10 22-8
11 Vista 28-3 @Rancho Santa Margarita 6 21-8
II 8 Mater Dei 23-5 Studio City Harvard-Westlake 9 21-11
12 Mission Hills 21-8 @Moreno Valley Rancho Verde 5 26-3
III 7 La Jolla Country Day 19-10 L.A. Washington 10 22-6
8 Santa Fe Christian 20-10 Vista Murrieta 9 24-5
14 Orange Glen 21-6 @Capistrano Valley 3 25-6
IV 2 Helix 27-5 Granada Hills 15 14-16
13 Sage Creek 14-17 @Twentynine Palms 4 27-3
14 Lincoln 21-12 @L.A. Carson 3 21-6
V 12 Olympian 28-3 @Bermuda Dunes Desert Christian 5 22-5
16 Guajome Park 19-9 @Riverside Notre Dame 1 29-3
4 Brawley 21-7 L.A. Watts New Design 13 19-2


OPEN 3 Mission Hills 29-2 Rancho Cucamonga Etiwanda 6 28-2
5 The Bishop’s 28-3 @Studio City Harvard-Westlake 4 25-4
I 8 La Jolla Country Day 18-11 L.A. Palisades 9 25-9
13 Eastlake 23-7 @Brea-Olinda 4 23-7
II 13 La Costa Canyon 25-5 @L.B. Millikan 4 19-8
14 Westview 19-10 @Mission Hills Chaminade 3 16-11
7 Poway 24-6 Huntington Beach 10 23-9
III 13 San  Marcos 19-11 @Lawndale Leuzinger 4 23-10
6 Serra 20-10 L.A. Westchester 11 18-16
7 Mater Dei 21-11 San Juan Capistrano JSerra 10 16-14
IV 16 Lincoln 27-4 @Rancho Cucamonga Los Osos 1 22-3
4 Rancho Bernardo 25-6 L.A. Torres 13 20-6
6 Scripps Ranch 26-5 Pasadena 11 22-10
V 12 Maranatha 19-8 @Palos Verdes Rolling Hills 5 28-3
7 Escondido Adventist 22-3 Riverside Carnegie 10 16-4
15 Pacific Ridge 10-14 Irvine Crean 2 18-11


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2016-17, Week 10: Happy Trails, Saints Landmark

Rick : March 2, 2017 2:23 pm : Football

Dougherty Gymnasium went out in a blaze…of technicals!

The final two games at  St. Augustine were in  keeping with the history of the  64-year-old building, a bandbox of often ear-splitting noise, tightly-packed crowds, and  barnburner finishes.

Foothills Christian coach Brad Leaf will be serving a suspension when the Knights open play in the Southern California regionals of the state playoffs next week.

Despite the 72-69 loss to the Saints in semifinals of the San Diego Section playoffs,  Foothills will join St. Augustine, Torrey Pines, and five other local Open Division teams in the extended postseason.

Blame Leaf’s one-time benching on the decibel level created by the overflowing mass of humanity in the old gym or the spirit of Fr. Dougherty.

Fr. Joseph Dougherty was an Augustinian Provincial who led the  fund-raising drive that resulted in the Dec. 2, 1952, dedication of the squat, brick edifice that seats maybe 700 persons and occupies a campus niche on Palm Avenue between 32nd and Nutmeg streets.


Leaf received two technicals and an automatic ejection with 1.5 seconds remaining in the game.

As a team, Foothills was hit with three technicals because  a Knights player, or Leaf, called time out after Foothills rebounded a missed shot with 1.9 seconds remaining and the score tied at 69.

Foothills, however, was out of time outs, prompting the first whistle.

Leaf got into trouble when he began shouting that he had not called time out, resulting in technical No. 1.

When Leaf stalked the referee across the court, another in the crew raised his right hand to signal the second technical and ejection.

“It was a chaotic situation,” Leaf later said to writer John Maffei of the Union-Tribune.  “The gym was packed, everyone was standing. It was tough to hear or see anything….”


The Saints’ Taeshon Cherry was shown the door three nights before  after the player complained about a  foul in the second quarter of the Saints’ 68-45, quarterfinals win over La Costa Canyon.

CIF commissioner Jerry Schniepp overturned Cherry’s ejection after the crew of officials admitted  a mistake and that Cherry had not received two technicals, since the first whistle had resulted in a common foul.

Saints coach Mike Haupt didn’t start Cherry against Foothills but the 6-foot, 8-inch junior got into the game minutes later and scored 17 points.


The Saints’ game hero was Otto Taylor, a 6-1 senior who scored 23 points and hit three free throws in six attempts (two for each technical) with 1.5 remaining to give St. Augustine the victory.


Dougherty Gym will be used for other school purposes next season, when the Saints move into their new 1,500-seat arena on campus…the Open finals Saturday night at the Jenny Craig Pavilion on the University of San Diego campus will match the No. 1 (St. Augustine) and No. 2 (Torrey Pines) teams in the Union-Tribune weekly poll..the girls Open final will bring together No. 1 Mission Hills and No. 2 The Bishop’s…St. Augustine is eighth in the Cal-Hi Sports state top 20 and Torrey Pines is 16th…Mission Hills is fourth and The Bishop’s is on the bubble in the girls’ top 20….

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2016-17 Week 8: Playoffs Next as Leagues Finish

Rick : February 16, 2017 5:17 pm : Football

The regular season ends on Friday night and power ratings to determine divisional playoff appointments will follow on Saturday.

St. Augustine lost another first-place vote to Torrey Pines in the weekly Union-Tribune poll,  but is number one in the present power ratings, with Torrey Pines third.  Vista, which hasn’t played the marquee schedules of the Saints or Torrey Pines, is second in the power ratings.

The eight teams selected for the San Diego Section Open Division playoffs will have first-round byes, while divisions 1-5 will tee it up next week.

St. Augustine remained  12th in the Cal-Hi Sports weekly top 20 and Torrey Pines nudged up one notch to 19th.

Mission Hills remained fourth in the Cal-Hi  girls’ ratings, while the Bishop’s anchored at No. 20 for weeks, now is 18th.

Game of the week will be Thursday  night at La Jolla Country Day, where the state bubble team Torreys, 15-10, and winners of 5 in a row, will attempt to reverse a 62-53 loss to The Bishop’s, 27-1 and winner of 16 straight, early in the season.

The other girls bubble team is Eastlake (20-6).  Foothills Christian (20-5) and Vista (23-3) remain on the bubble in boys’ play.

Union-Tribune Boys’ poll through Monday, Feb. 13:

Rank Team Record Points Last Poll
1 St. Augustine (8) 23-4 98 1
2 Torrey Pines (2) 24-3 92 2
3 Foothills Christian 20-5 80 3
4 Vista 23-3 69 4
5 Helix 22-5 54 6
6 Mater Dei 20-4 42 7
7 Mission Hills 18-7 38 5
8 La Jolla Country Day 18-8 29 8
9 Poway 21-5 17 9
10 Serra 23-3 9 10

Others receiving votes: La Costa Canyon (19-6, 5 points), Olympian (21-2, 5), Rancho Bernardo (19-6, 4), Canyon Crest (18-7, 3), Orange Glen (17-7, 2), Granite Hills (20-6, 2).

Poll participants include John Maffei, San Diego Union-Tribune; Steve Brand (San Diego Hall of Champions), Terry Monahan, Union-Tribune correspondent),  Bill Dickens, Adam Paul,; Rick Willis, KUSI-TV; Rick Smith,; Bodie DeSilva,; Chris Davis, freelance;  Aaron Burgin,

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36 Responses to Football Blog

  1. John Carter says:

    I just read about this website from this morning’s paper in Nick’s column, what a great find! I played on Kearny’s 1973 undefeated CIF Champioship team, and our 1973-74 basketball team was undefeated and CIF champions as well. I’ve always wondered if there has ever been a year where both football and basketball teams were undefeated and champions in San Diego County history? Thank you for all your work with high school sports history over the years!

    • Rick says:

      I thanked Nick. And I thank you. I don’t think there have been undefeated football and basketball teams at the same school.
      It’s just too tough a double. Undefeated football teams are more common. I’ll do some research.

  2. Buzz Ponce says:

    Interesting overview on St. Augustine for this upcoming season. Frank Buncom IV, however, is a cornerback, not a linebacker. His grandfather, as I know you are aware, was the original number 55 for the San Diego Chargers and is in the team’s Hall of Fame. Very interestingly, the other iconic number 55 for the Chargers — Junior Seau — has a nephew on St. Augustine’s team that also plays linebacker. Quinn Seau and Buncom IV have roots that parallel the greats in Chargers history. You can read a chapter on Buncom IV and Quinn Seau’s similarities in my book, “Finding Frank: Full Circle in a Life Cut Short.”

    • Rick says:

      I missed on Buncom IV’s position, but I don’t think he’s a cornerback. He’s more of a “monster” in that he’s all over the field, almost a strong safety. I’ve heard of your book. I also interviewed Frank Buncom, Jr., after Chargers games when I was a sports writer at the Evening Tribune. Nice man. Tragic ending.

  3. holly bryant says:

    1978 — Dan Henson was the coach at Christian
    2007 — Grossmont was 2-1 for 2nd place (West Hills was 3-0)

    • Rick says:

      Thank you for the info on Christian’s coach in 1978.. I could not find coaching listings for some schools in late seventies, as the CIF San Diego office does not have directories for those years. I also corrected the Grossmont-West Hills standings. For some reason the 5 teams in the Grossmont North played only three league games instead of four, so there’s no round-robin format.

  4. Absolutely awesome site. I just discovered it by accident right now. Love it. I am 2nd generation born, raised, played and coached in the South Bay of San Diego. I have always loved the CIF-SDS history. I’ll be spending a lot of time (I already have spent a lot) surfing this site.
    Thank you,

    Justin J. Schaeffer
    Resource Teacher
    Head Football Coach
    Murrieta Mesa High School
    (951) 677-0568 ext. 6421

    GO RAMS!!!!!
    Character, integrity and hard work breed opportunity.
    see us at

    • Rick says:

      Thanks for the very kind words, coach, and for subscribing. We have an article going today on three San Diego Section championship games yesterday.

  5. Bob Dexter says:

    I thought it might have been a misprint. Thanks, Rick for checking -still an impressive offensive show by La Jolla.

    • Rick says:

      Impressive indeed, Bob. The 63 points is a La Jolla record for one game, surpassing a romp in which it whacked Kearny, 61-20, in 2002. Last week’s win also ties a 57-0 rout of Coronado in 1990 for largest point differential. Adding to that, back in the heyday of Dan Berry and Butch Taylor the Vikings beat San Dieguito, 57-7 in 1961,. Those are the three highest scores in school history. La Jolla has been punishing U. City for years, including 56-7 in 2012.

  6. Bob Dexter says:

    I saw a score from last Friday. There were no details just the line score. At the end of 3 quarters La Jolla and University City were tied 0-0. The final was La Jolla 63, University City 6. High school quarters I believe are 12 minutes. How did La Jolla score 9 touchdowns in 12 minutes? (9 one play drives?) Does anyone have details on this game?

    • Rick says:

      I wondered about that, too, but a check with Jesse Kearney at UT-San Diego revealed that the actual score by quarters was La Jolla, 19-20-10-14–63 and U. City, 6-0-0-0–6. Sixty-three points in one quarter? That’s 9 touchdowns and 9 PAT attempts and 3 PAT in 12 minutes I suppose anything’s possible. Perhaps it’s happened in 8-man or 6-man. Thanks for writing, Bob.

  7. Jasen Boyens says:

    Orange Glen has gone the way of Sweetwater, Morse, Lincoln; victims of changing demographics over time. For OG it all started to fall apart when Valley Center HS opened, and the Patriots lost all those corn-fed farm boys! So many good players came out of VC, as evidenced by Rob Gilster’s sustained success with the Jaguars. Orange Glen was also victimized by the Escondido School District, whose board members were largely Escondido HS alums – implementation of a free-for-all transfer policy within the district, intended to bolster the Cougars’ fortunes. Despite the courageous Early family’s laudable decision to keep Andy and Austin home at OG, in hopes of bolstering Patriot fortunes, the football program remains decrepit. Dick Disney was a great man whose impact on many lives, including my own, continues through the decades.

    • Rick says:

      Jasen, very interesting comments. You could add several other city schools to that mix. Orange Glen did have it going. I think there have been 3 or 4 NFL players, Salisbury, Lenny McGill, I think, and maybe a couple others.

  8. BoyensJC says:


    Thought you might find this photo [ed: of the OG QB club] interesting;

    We had some pretty good quarterbacks come through Orange Glen for a spell there in the late 70’s through the early 1990’s. Lead by Salisbury, of course, but Doug Disney (and his older brother, Rick), Jon Mitchell, and Cree Morris were all San Diego CIF.

    • Rick says:

      What’s happened with Orange Glen football? Patriots had it going back then. I remember Dick Dinesy as an all-star at Point Loma, then later as an assistant for Chick Embrey at Escondido before he opened O.G. Last I heard Sean Salkisbury was in radio in Chicago. Thanks for writing.

      • Buzz Ponce says:

        Dick Disney also was the first varsity football coach at San Marcos High School when it opened in 1961, following his stint at Escondido HS with Chick Embrey. He was at San Marcos (which was then in the Escondido Union HS District) until Orange Glen launched in 1962-63. He was an incredible coach, and an incredible person. After his retirement at OG, he was elected to the Escondido Union HS District Board of Trustees where he served until his death in 1997.
        RIP, Coach Disney.

      • Rick says:

        I met Disney when he assisted Chick with the 1960 team that won the first San Diego section championship. I always wondered how he got to Escondido, considering he was a big name in high school in the city at Point Loma. thanks for writing, Buzz.

  9. Bob Dexter says:

    Rick, Thank you for the kind comments. Coach Leslie was definitely the right man to get our program going. That 1971 season was a lot of fun!

  10. Bob Dexter says:


    Regarding your article on the best defenses in history, the 1971 Patrick Henry Patriots went 11-1 outscoring the opposition 267-53 an average of 4.4 points. We had 5 shutouts and never allowed more than 8 points in any one game. We lost to Grossmont 8-7 in the championship game but it was a great season.

    I became aware of your great website from Henrik.

    • Rick says:

      Bob: The writer posed a question involving only “championship” teams. I researched from that angle but should have taken it further and included all teams. A one-point loss to Grossmont doesn’t dim the luster of that 1971 Patrick Henry club. Coach Russ Leslie got the new school up and running very quickly. The Patriots reached the San Diego Section finals in their third varsity season and were in the finals three times from 1971-74.

  11. malcolm pusey says:

    Great info. But I would like read tidbits for every season. How about a list of the greatest players (by position), teams and coaches of all time?
    I am just trying to help.

    • Rick says:

      Malcolm, great idea. I have been thinking somewhat along those lines. I guess I would start with Charlie Powell at one of the ends although he played fullback one year at San Diego High. Jack Mashin and Duane Maley would be near the top of my coaches’ list, but I’m first concentrating on the yearly reviews and the yearly scoring leaders. Are you related to Duane Pusey, 13-foot pole vaulter at Grossmont in 1949?

  12. Rick says:

    Mark: I’m not familiar with Jimmy Anderson. Ernie Zampese’s son, Ken, is on the Bengals staff and graduated from University High. I think Dante Scarnecchia played at Cal Western, later USIU.
    I see Lenny arevalo at breakfast every Thursday, so tell me his story and I’ll surprise him. Were you with Shacklett and Mendoza at Morse?

    • Mark Monroe says:

      Len’s story is set in 1973 the first year Jimmy Anderson was hired to teach at Morse and coach the defensive line for Shack. While the two of them were out for a jog around the neighborhood Jim asked Len “where do you see yourself in 10 years” Len replied “here @ Morse, I like what I am doing, why where are you gonna be?” Jim says ” I am going to be coaching in the NFL” and he still is as one of the longest tenured assistant coaches in the NFL. Coach Anderson is the innovative mind behind the warm up Morse would do before and after games known as “Tiger Jays” A tradition that has lasted from 1974 to 2011. Len can tell you the story about Dante. Bob, Len and I recently had lunch with Coach Anderson and Len told that story. Yes I had the pleasure of working with Coach Shack, Mendoza and Arevalo at Morse for 24 years. It was kind of weird working there since I graduated in 1971 and knew them as my idols. Thanks for the reply, Coach Monroe.

  13. Mark Monroe says:

    Wow great job! I worked at Morse for 24 years and have a story Len Arevalo likes to tell about Cincinnati running back coach Jimmy Anderson and New England line coach Dante Scarnecchia. Interested?

  14. Todd Tobias says:

    Great stuff, Rick! I will be reading daily. I bet I’ll find some good crossover stuff for potential AFL stories!

  15. John Walker says:

    Will you be adding a section for All-CIF and All-League players. The reason I’m asking is because I was a 2nd team All Eastern League linebacker for Patrick Henry in 1984 and I lost the newspaper clipping.

    • Rick says:

      John: I’m trying to get these narratives written for each year, plus finding scoring leaders for every year. In time I hope to get to the “all” teams. Thanks for writing.

  16. Albert Oliver says:

    Hi Rick. I played in the 1961 Lincoln/ Saints game losing 13 to 6 to Lincoln.
    Your parents Doug & Jane knew mine Al & Virginia Oliver ( Both Dads in the fishing industry).
    Just wanted to say hi.
    Still live in San Diego..( El Cajon).
    Al Oliver…12/07/2012

    • Rick says:

      Al: Good to hear from you. I see Ron Cota and John Nettles often. I think that was the game in which John made a one-handed catch. Willie Shaw and Vernus Ragsdale combined for about 225 yards rushing in that game.

  17. Richard Houk says:

    Just discovered your wonderful site (thanks to Don Norcross). It is wonderful to see a comprehensive listing of San Diego County’s proud history. I was a part of the 1965 San Dieguito Mustangs and noticed that you may have the wrong score entered for the San Dieguito/Poway game. I believe San Dieguito won, 19-14. It is entered correctly on San Dieguito’s record but not Poway’s. Thank you for putting all of this together!

    • Rick says:

      Richard: The score has been corrected. Game played Sept. 24, 1965. I’ll come up with the scoring summary and send. Thanks for commenting.

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